Our photo shows a newspaper clipping of a nice print of Malahide Castle in North County Dublin from about 1895. The clipping also provides a brief outline of the history (to that date) of the castle, parts of which date to the twelfth century when King Henry II (1133-1189) granted Richard Talbot the lands and harbour of Malahide for his services to the English crown. In its current form, Malahide Castle incorporates a variety of different architectural styles as various rooms and fortifications were added, altered, and enlarged over time. The castle remained in the possession of the Talbot family for nearly eight centuries (broken only by a brief interval between 1649 and 1660 when the family’s lands were seized during the Cromwellian conquest and the castle was occupied by Miles Corbet (1595-1662), Lord Chief Baron of Ireland). The last representative of the family to reside in the castle was Milo Talbot (1912-1973), 7th Baron Talbot of Malahide. On his death, the estate passed to his sister Rose Maud Talbot who sold the castle to the Irish state in 1975. The castle and its 260-acre demesne has now been developed into a popular tourist amenity, public park and summertime concert and festival venue. The article is taken from a bound volume containing clippings of articles and accounts of various Irish castles, abbeys, and historic monuments. The volume was acquired by Fr. Senan Moynihan OFM Cap. (1900-1970), the editor of ‘The Capuchin Annual’.

By Jack Shanley

‘8½’ is a strange title but one appropriate for the 1963 classic. Approaching its 60th anniversary, we look back as fondly as ever at the Federico Fellini masterpiece. Gaining its title simply from the number of films in which the Italian maestro had made to date, it really is a must-watch movie. It follows a troubled Italian filmmaker, Guido (Marcello Mastroianni), who struggles with the creative stasis of his next project. Overwhelmed by his struggles, he retreats into a world of fantasy, both past and present, resulting in his next project being very autobiographical. This bonafide classic is a study of male fantasy and fear of the creative mind. Throughout, we are constantly struck with wonderful dream-like imagery from Guido’s mind overlooking the past and present, most of which involves his association with women, the impact of women on his life and his true feelings for them. We also study the true horror of one suddenly losing their creativity for their craft. Fellini at his very best tended to bond a balance between fantasy and reality and never has it been more evident than in ‘8½’. The film is a messy ball of confusion as our hero (Guido), a self-regarding man, finds himself lost and utterly empty as the film itself. Midway though, a friend of Guido turns to him, speaking the true essence of the film when saying: ‘I’ve figured out what your story is about. It’s a man’s inner confusion.’ This speaks volumes not just for ‘8½’ but for the majority of Fellini’s filmography, films like ‘La Dolce Vita’, ‘La Strada’ and ‘Nights of Cabiria’ which all fall into the themes of fantasy, dreams and desire. ‘8½’, still regarded as one of the finest films ever made, is on many lists and polls as one of the greatest and most influential films of all time. It is truly an astonishing, masterful and electrifying spectacle of optimism as we step into the dreams and world of Fellini. As the material is still so fresh, it’s only right to give it a score of FIVE stars. •You can watch ‘8½’ on Prime Video or buy it on Blu-Ray for €21.37 on Amazon. Director: Federico Fellini – Rating:15 – Genre: Fantasy/Drama – Run Time: 2h 18m – Language: Italian English. For more film content please follow @movies4fanatics on Instagram.

by Siobhan O’Neill White

Valentine’s is a popular time for engagements and while weddings can be hugely expensive, with
some savvy shopping and careful planning, you need not go bankrupt! I was recently helped my sister plan her wedding. She shopped local as much as possible, but unfortunately still got scammed on a dodgy wedding website ‘claiming’ to be Irish. It had a .ie Irish domain and looked legit. She spent €200 but after a few days without updates, she discovered this company was fake. Thankfully, her bank was able to refund her the money but the best advice when ordering from a company you have not used before is to research them first. Check Trustpilot, Irish wedding chat boards or our wedding section on mams.ie. For wedding dresses, Alexander Bridal, Parnell St Dublin are wonderful. Tina is professional and experienced, and the dresses are bang on trend without hefty price tags. Our family has bought 3 wedding dresses, 2 bridesmaids dresses and 3 Communion dresses there over the years. Highly recommended for the fellas, Bestwear, Shop St. Drogheda is well known for stylish, affordable suits for men and boys. Excellent quality and superb value, like the one in our picture. Aisling and Kieron are very helpful and can arrange alterations if necessary. The difference in price between them and some shops we perused in Dublin is drastic. Well worth a visit and to get a further 10% off in store, use promo code Mams.ieBest23 WeddingCreations.ie make personalised products like Bridal Planner boxes, wedding invites and keepsake gifts. Caroline is so helpful and every month she runs a different discount offer. The wedding day personalised bridal robes, as pictured, are beautiful. Another wonderful Irish company is karenedellmillinery.ie for hair accessories and fascinators. We picked a beautiful Mother-of-the-bride fascinator from Karen for €79 and it’s very similar (but even nicer) than one we spotted in another store for €400!!! For wedding guest style, the website MyKindOfDress.com is fantastic. Get 20% off when you join their newsletter and check their sale section, its jammed with fabulous items at bargain prices, like wedding guest dresses from €10 and faux fur jackets from €25.Keep an eye on mams.ie and our socials for wedding related competitions including Tan Organic sets, iGlow nail & lash products, Carter Beauty make-up, Belleek Living Gifts and lots more!

By Dave Kavanagh

So, February 2023. The time when many “New year, new me” changes may have faded into memory. So many great intentions of life improvements were planned: get healthier, spend more wisely, have more money, relax more, stress less, start a new hobby. All noble intentions, with one thing in common – they require you to make some changes and make time for those changes. For some aspects, this is easier than it is for others. Relax a bit more? Sure. Spend some “Me Time” in the gym? Absolutely. Do some work on planning the finances? “Errrrr…maybe I’ll start on that next week”! Without realising it, many people subconsciously view dealing with financial planning as “negative”. Understandably, who wants to sit discussing the potential loss in the event of a fatality, or a serious illness, or not being able to work, or thinking forward to the last third of your adult life? If any of these type of events would cause a financial loss to you or those dependent on you, making some time to at least establish what options are available, is the least you should consider. There are so many other benefits to reviewing your finances, not least of which, it can leave you with more money! Two of the tips I constantly tell people is to examine 3 months’ bank statements and to do a monthly spending exercise. Going through the bank statements can help identify things that maybe you should no longer be paying for, or that you are duplicating. Keeping a spending diary for a month will give you a clear picture of detailed outgoings, allowing you to identify spending that you could possibly do more efficiently and permit you to make any changes necessary. The end result of making the time for such an important topic, will not only usually leave you better off financially, but put you more in control of your finances, thereby reducing the stress/anxiety often associated with money. One hour is 4% of your day. Make the time.

Dave Kavanagh QFA has been advising people financially for over 25 years. For quotes or information (with no cost or obligation) he can be contacted by emailing him at info@financialcompanion.ie or use the contact form on www.financialcompanion.ie or @Davekav_advice on Twitter and Instagram. Combined with his previous role of gym/nutrition adviser, he regularly gives talks and workshops at seminars and events for groups, companies and government departments on financial wellbeing, positivity and motivation. As heard on RTE 2FM , LMFM and TV3.

An inspirational young Balbriggan man has produced a fascinating anthology shining a spotlight on the town’s creative talent. Motivated by a desire to connect with other creative people, illustrator, designer and writer Matthew Kelly, 21, from Clonard Court, received funding from Fingal County Council’s Our Balbriggan Placemaking Fund for the publication ‘Dear Balbriggan.’ The anthology was launched at the Our Balbriggan Hub at Georges Square on Thursday, December 15, and is set to further boost Balbriggan’s growing reputation as a centre for the arts. The launch was attended by many of the artists and creatives featured in the anthology which will be available free to those in attendance. ‘Dear Balbriggan’ is a 144-page love letter to the creative heart of Balbriggan, featuring creative and feature writing, as well as poetry, art and illustration, photography, recipes and crafts. Matthew, who is deeply passionate about his home place and anxious to promote it in the best possible light, works with Thérapie Clinic, one of Europe’s leading medical aesthetic clinics, and has been commissioned for projects by Fingal County Council and the Mansion House. He has seen his work showcased several times in national print and digital publications, as well as at the Fingal Poetry Festival and in Mental Health Ireland’s Thrive campaign. He is currently working on his first book, ‘Porter Loves Cleo.’ Matthew, a past-pupil of Ardgillan College and former student at the National College of Art and Design, set out to create an anthology in the style of one of the world’s great magazines. “I wanted to produce something in the style of the New Yorker magazine with essays, fiction, illustrations, and poetry,” said Matthew. “And I know I am very lucky to do the work I do. So if I can do the right thing for my home place, why would I not do it? “I felt it could be a vehicle to connect with creative people in the area and highlight the artistic side of Balbriggan. “There is a lot of creative talent here, it is important to shine a spotlight on it and ‘Dear Balbriggan’ allowed me connect further with it.”

By Jack Shanley

Seventy years on and ‘Roman Holiday’ is still inspiring rom-coms of the 21st century.
It’s a fun, heart-warming and deep film with quite a basic story, starring Gregory Peck as the cool masculine news reporter and the wonderfully elegant Audrey Hepburn as Princess Ann. Overwhelmed by her suffocating schedule, touring Europe, Princess Ann (Hepburn) decides to take off for the night while in Rome. When a sedative she took earlier from her doctor finally kicks in, she falls asleep on a park bench and is later found by an American news reporter, Joe Bradley (Peck), who takes her back to his apartment for safety. At work next morning, Joe discovers Ann’s real identity and bets his editor that he can get an exclusive interview but romance quickly gets in the way. ‘Roman Holiday’, made in 1953, is the reason we love cinema. It’s a film that ages like fine wine and is still as entertaining as ever. Great American screenwriter Dalton Trumbo urges us to commit to life’s simple pleasures - money and status alone cannot create meaning and happiness. The classic steals our hearts, from the amazing scenes in which we see Ann get her haircut, to the iconic Vespa bike scene and on to the thrilling barge fight scene. We are ever poised for the next scene to capture our hearts once again, and with the ending being so beautiful, it will make your heart peel like an orange. The amazingly graceful Hepburn lights up our screen for the first time, her beauty, elegance and sense of fashion, making her an instant icon and one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. She didn’t just win our hearts in the end but also the Academy Award for Best Actress. This is a magical film the likes of which I don’t think we’ll ever see again and is still so fresh after all these years. I can’t help but give it FIVE stars. You can watch ‘Roman Holiday’ on Sky Cinema or buy it on DVD for €9.99 at Tower Records. Director: William Wyler – Rating: PG – Genre: Romance/Comedy – Run Time: 1h 58m – Language: English/Italian. For more film content please follow @movies4fanatics on Instagram.

By Siobhan O’Neill White

Christmas is over and dreary January is here. You may be over stuffed, over tired and possibly, dealing with an overdraft after all the excesses of December. But, before you give up all your favourite foods and drinks, maybe take a breath and relax a little and remember, you are lovely just as you are. Its almost programmed into us that January is a terrible month that we have to get through, that we should all be dieting and not eating nice foods and maybe enjoying a glass of wine of hot chocolate at the weekend. But who decided it should be so miserable? Who decided we all need to sign up to slimming clubs immediately? Instead of stressing out about it all, why don’t you dial down the pressure on yourself. Take out one of the bath sets you most likely got as a gift for Christmas and chill in a deep bubble bath with a magazine and even a few candles. Stellar is a cool Irish magazine that makes for great reading in the bath. A lovely way to pass half an hour, away from all the stresses and strains of life. It’s lovely to get out and enjoy a brisk walk in the fresh and cool winter air but it’s good to try to make time to snuggle up with a bowl of popcorn and a box set. I am loving Flatshare on Paramount, based on the hilarious and charming bestselling book by fab Irish author Beth O’Leary. Another must watch show is Minx, which takes a brilliant look at the launch of a saucy magazine for women in the 70’s – original, funny and the wardrobe is amazing. On Netflix now is season 3 of Emily In Paris. Yes, it is a bit silly but it’s also colourful, funny, sweet and romantic and who doesn’t love a good love triangle? It is pure escapism and in January, I think we all need a bit of that in! So, yes, this month can be hard. Its cold and we are all a bit broke - so that’s even more reason to be extra kind to yourself! And to give you the hug you may well need this month, we’ve got some warm, lovely Wooliees to give away. Head over to mams.ie to enter to be in to win one.

By Dave Kavanagh

January is traditionally a time when many people embark on making some positive changes or improvements in their lives. The most recognisable of these is the ‘losing weight/getting healthier” one. To give people more of an incentive to maintain what they start, it’s worth noting that if done properly, losing weight can have the added bonus of leaving you with more money at the end of each month. So how does that work?? Well, by “doing it properly” I refer to NOT going on a diet, or buying products with magic properties that will make the weight just fall off. Instead, making small, sustainable lifestyle changes. It can be adding some exercise in week 1, drinking more water (and less alcohol/sugar laden drinks) in week 2, reducing portion sizes in week 3, substituting things like chips for wholegrain rice or pasta in week 4, breaking the association of biscuits/cakes whenever you have a coffee or tea in week 5, etc., etc. Doing it this way, makes it sustainable and when weight is dropped slower over a longer period of time, it is far more likely to be kept off. So how does that help my finances? When I analyse people’s spending budgets, it’s clear that takeaways, alcohol, sweets, cakes biscuits etc. pop up quite frequently. If you keep track of the savings when you cut down on many of these things, it’s easy to see how much you can save. One person I was helping used to enjoy her “treat” of a chocolate eclair most days. When she accepted that she felt bad after eating it and conceded that it was not helping her goal to lose weight, I suggested it was more of a punishment than a treat. I proposed that she put the money into a jar each day and when there was enough, to treat herself to a back massage, which can positively reinforce the good changes someone has made. Make the right choices, one day at a time.

Dave Kavanagh QFA has been advising people financially for over 25 years. For quotes or information (with no cost or obligation) he can be contacted by emailing him at info@financialcompanion.ie or use the contact form on www.financialcompanion.ie or @Davekav_advice on Twitter and Instagram. Combined with his previous role of gym/nutrition adviser, he regularly gives talks and workshops at seminars and events for groups, companies and government departments on financial wellbeing, positivity and motivation. As heard on RTE 2FM , LMFM and TV3.

On the 30th of October 2022 Project Fashion Academy hosted their annual ‘Young Designer of the Year Awards’ in the City North Hotel and Conference Centre, Gormanston, Co. Meath. The event this year was in support of a very worthy charity, Make a Wish Ireland who rely entirely on the generosity and support of individuals and events run by businesses like Project Fashion. Make-A-Wish Ireland has one simple aim – to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, to bring hope, strength, and happiness and this year they are celebrating 30 years of granting wishes. Paul and Paula Keeley, Founders of Project Fashion, Swords, Co. Dublin, came up with an idea in 2019 to create a platform to inspire their many students and raise money for charity. The awards this year were again a phenomenal success raising over eleven thousand euro for Make a Wish Ireland. The fantastic partners of this year’s show were The City North Hotel and Conference Centre, Flynn Park Outdoor Adventures in Balbriggan and WOW Balloons who’s support ensured fundraising success! The show itself was hosted by the fabulous Glenda Gilson who was joined by four inspirational celebrity judges, Orla-Morris Toolen (this year’s RTE Junk Kouture Presenter), Helen Steele (Fashion Designer extraordinaire with current collections in Dunnes Stores), Emer O’Neill (RTE’s Homework Hub Presenter, Activist and Children’s Author) and Katie O’Connor (This years Miss Dublin and an All-Ireland Champion Dancer). This year’s show was even bigger and better than the last and according to event director Sabrina Morris, “There were even more sponsors this year who Project Fashion said were at the core of making the event the great success it was, and they included Videographer Majestic 360, KB Designs, Hickey’s, Heaven Ashbourne, Dessert Diamonds, PEELO, Bly Amour, Helen Steele Fashion, Andrew Collins Photography, Film Equipment Hire, Eurospar Kinsealy, The Flower Yard, Pigsback.ie, One4all, The Bridal Outlet, and Designworks Photography. If any fashion creatives, individuals, or businesses would like to get involved with next years Project Fashion’s ‘Young Designer of the Year Awards 2023’ please get in touch by emailing pfashionmarketing@gmail.com.

By Jack Shanley

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought it would only be right to review ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’.Thirty years since its original release, it hasn’t aged, only grown better in time. This beautifully crafted heart-warming adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel is an amazing film which offers so much, from the wacky screwball comedy of the Muppets to the seriousness of Michael Caine as Scrooge. In my opinion this is the best adapation out there, for its fun wacky comedy aspect, seriousness and its lack of shyness for the true horror and essence the story holds. As dark as the material can be, we still must go to those dark places for the ending to be as joyous. Dark in periods, especially with the three ghosts, makes it far more memorable and interesting than any of the ghosts from other Christmas Carol movies. The film focuses on not just Scrooge’s life but his whole perspective of life too. We see examples of this in the introduction. We don’t see Scrooge’s face, only low shots emphasising his monstrous visage, and tilted shots to show his twisted view of the world. Something this movie does that I really appreciate is it really hits the serious tone hard during the third ghost. They remove the comic relief that’s kept our spirits up this whole time and force us to witness the horror that awaits Scrooge in the future thus making the ending strong, joyful and that bit more special. Apart from being vastly entertaining, the acting is also superb. Caine’s fantastic performance - changing from a menacing man to a warm, charming man who’s joy is so infectious - arguably carries the film. The songs throughout are fantastic quality too as they’re fun, catchy and will leave you humming the tunes for quite a while. I’d highly recommend watching ‘The Muppets Christmas Carol’ this Christmas with the spirit of the season shining through in every frame. For that I can’t help but give it FIVE stars. You can watch ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ on Disney Plus or go see it at the Lighthouse Cinema on December 19th. Director: Jim Henson – Rating: PG – Genre: Family/Fantasy – Run Time: 1h 25m – Language: English. For more film content please follow @movies4fanatics on Instagram.